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Reviews > Shows

Published: 2003/09/29
by Kevin R. Hart

The Recipe, Baylees, Blacksburg, VA- 9/19

Having seen The Recipe a dozen or so times over the past year, you can
imagine my excitement as they strolled back into Baylees Friday night.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Blacksburg, this quaint little cafy-day
is only a one hour drive from my home, and is by far the shortest distance
I’ve traveled to see this Morgantown-founded, and now Asheville-based
ensemble. Baylees has not only hosted my first Recipe show, but has since
provided many other opportunities to see live, homegrown music right in my
own backyard, thus the mystique and nostalgia of the place always provides a
joy in itself. Baylees hosts many of the talented acts frequenting the
jamband circuit and is affiliated with The Lyric Theater. This venue located
a few blocks down from Baylees toward the campus of VA Tech, also plays host
to musical acts, (Derek Trucks on 10/29/03) but in a theatrical atmosphere,
free from alcohol, and in a more family friendly environment, i.e. possible
sit down crowd. But that was not for me tonight, as I was looking to get
"buck-ass-wild" as we say here in southern WV and have me a "good ol’

The ride to Blacksburg from Princeton is always about the same. It begins
with a stop for gas, smokes, "munchies", and liquid refreshment. Then begins
the short, but stressful drive on 460E. Speed trap after speed trap,
construction zone after construction zone, factory after factory, and farm
after farm we always make our way slowly to Blacksburg. The Hokies had
defeated Texas A&M through the effects of Hurricane Isabel the previous
night in Blacksburg and the city seemed to still be riding this wave of
excitement as we arrived. Bustling college students filled the streets, all
appearing eager to go club hopping for the night. Grabbing one of the last
available parking spaces right across the street, the crowd was already
buzzing inside and a few stragglers were still getting carded. We were
inside long enough for the ladies to visit the restroom and
grab a beer (Newcastle, 2 for $7) before the band came out.

Julie Edlow was looking and sounding as marvelous as ever, while Joe Pritchard
sported a new "Preppy Joe" haircut, which Julie teased him about later on in
the evening. "The Krispy Korner" made up of the bands two newest members,
wild-eyed and wild haired Kris Kehr, and dready bassist Chris Q, appear to
have melded with the band nicely. The men in the back are none other than
stalwarts drummer Gregg Lowley and percussionist Tom Whelan, whose
contributions readily affirm how valuable a consistent and steady beat can be.

The show opened with a standard version of "Wrecking Ball", followed by "Rise",
which builds on one of their more spacey riffs, which reminds me of The Grateful
Dead at times. Weaving in and out with each other on the mandolin and
acoustic guitar were Kris and Joe. "Lil’ Maggie" was next, a bluegrass
traditional, with vocals alternating verses between Julie and Joe. I have heard it
at all of my recent Recipe shows and wasn’t all that thrilled by its appearance
although Julie delivers soulful bellows throughout this number. The next song they
played was "Like That", a new jazzy, blues tune I had caught at The Day on the
Green and Mid-X festivals in WV back in July and I could tell that they are
starting to bring all the pieces together with this one. This is one of the
newer songs you should look to hear. Their next number, "Breakin’ Out", is a
quirky little twangy tune from Kris Kehr off one of his solo albums that has
been effectively incorporated into The Recipe’s repertoire.

A bit later came a pleasing surprise. You see, The Recipe used to have a fiddle
the lineup, and since the departure of Hannah Ross, one of the band’s best
songs, "Davy’s Jubilee" has been absent from the setlists presumably because it
speaks of fiddle playing. Despite this fact, many porchies have yearned for this
sentimental song about the loss of a young father during the Vietnam
War. It is a heartfelt expression of the unconditional love of family that you
find throughout the hills of Appalachia, and the sometime sad effects of the
unconditional love also felt for one’s own country. On this night I was
truly shocked and amazed when I heard the first few notes. Even without the fiddle,
The Recipe whipped out a beautiful rendition, moving through all five parts
of this tune, and I don’t think that a fiddle is needed to play
this song or "lead the jam that day" as the lyrics insist. Kris Kehr’s
mandolin does an outstanding job and unless you’re an old-school porchie,
you’ll probably never miss it.

Finishing off the first set was a quirky little Recipe tune called
"Lingerie", which sports a sexy Julie shaking her stuff a little more than
usual while she spouts outs lyrics celebrating "underwear or the lack
thereof" followed by "Holy Shit, Drink the Wine." The latter is another
more popular Recipe song that provides a good fast-paced closer.

The band returned with "Marigold." The album version is rather slow
and sentimental, but the live one is more upbeat without losing the
emotional sway. A newer Recipe song came next in "Back To Heaven", written by
Julie which really allows her to showcase the "soul sister" qualities of her vocals.
A bit later they busted out a little tune of relevance- Hurricane Isabel had swept
through the East Coast from NC to NJ the night before evacuating homes
and closing businesses. One of those unfortunate evacuations was The Recipe’s,
already previously rescheduled (from a cancellation on 9/4), show at Phil’s Grill in Virginia Beach, VA.
Thus it was only fair and logical that The Recipe should give the drummers a lengthy
break and offer a version of Dylan’s "Hurricane." The second set closed out
with "Bonemeal" just as the last call sign went dark. "Bonemeal" is one of
The Recipe’s most popular songs. Off Night Of The Porch People,
it spent several weeks on music charts from both High Times and Singing of "potted plants, grouped in 3’s, and 4’s, and 5’s",
and "having coffee with the dinosaur, on the back of my cereal box", I have yet
not to hear this amusing song at a show, but I’m not complaining.

After a brief break, the band reemerged for the encore taking it up a notch
(literally) with "Whiskey Pickle." One of the band’s more rockin’ tunes, the
volume in the room was also louder than I had heard all night, making for
the loudest "Whiskey Pickle" that I have heard. At times it was so loud that you could
not hear the music because of the music but given the tenor of the evening
it’s safe to say there was some righteous thumping going on in there.

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